Gambling On Credit Cards To Be Banned

Article Updated On 14th January 2020

Legislation will be introduced from April 2020 that prevents players using credit cards to place bets. The move, which has been widely expected within the industry, comes after reviews by The UK Gambling Commission and the UK Government. The aim of the move is curb problem gambling and is potentially just the start of another tranche of restrictions placed on online gambling.

Gambling Commission CEO, Neil McArthur explained that "the ban announced today should minimise the risks of harm to consumers from gambling with money they do not have". According to the report 24 million adults in Great Britain gamble, with just under half of those gambling online. It is estimated that 800,000* consumers use credit cards to gamble and The UKGC claim that 22% of problem gamblers use credit cards to gamble.

Under Scrutiny

The move is a good one from The UKGC and UK Government and as mentioned has been expected. Star Spins, for example, have already stopped accepting credit card payments from their players. However if you choose to deposit using Paypal then you have the option of funding your payment either from your bank account or a credit card. We understand that this "loophole" will not remain in place and Paypal will be responsible for ensuring the ban hold. It wouldn't come as a surprise to see payment systems such as Paypal, Paysafecard, Neteller and Skrill come under more scrutiny in the future.

The credit card ban will not extend to non-remote lotteries. This means that you can still purchase your National Lottery ticket on a credit card provided you purchase in-store. The online site doesn't accept credit card payments or payments from providers like Paypal, which is something we didn't know. The National Lottery also doesn't accept payments from e-wallets but does use Pingit, which is a mobile apps payment system. We wonder whether there will soon be a list of UKGC approved payment solutions?

Will The Ban Work?

The ban on credit cards is a sensible move. People really shouldn't be placing bets or wagering on slots using credit cards! If this ban helps reduce the issue of problem gambling then that's good news for all concerned. However, people with a gambling addiction and wanting to gamble will look for loopholes and alternative ways to fund their addiction. For example some brands use pay by mobile as an option for funding accounts. These will have to be looked in to as they may result in hefty mobile bills instead?

What we expect is that The UKGC and UK Government will continue to find ways to try and restrict the online gambling industry. Many of the changesthey've implemented, especially those with respect to taxation, have damaged the industry resulting in a large number of brands leaving The UK market. We're all for sensible improvements - and the credit card ban is one - but it does seem that the ultimate aim is kill off online gambling within The UK. This could force addicts to look for alternative gambling options within unregulated and uncontrolled markets.

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